Featured Practice: Gastroenterology Associates – Increasing BMI Screenings

The MidSouth PTN is proud to showcase Gastroenterology Associates and highlight the changes they’ve made to increase body mass index screenings. By redesigning their clinical workflow, providers ensure more patients who have abnormal BMIs receive resources and individualized follow up care, ultimately arming patients with more information to take control of their health.  

With offices in Columbus and Starkville, Mississippi, Gastroenterology Associates strives to provide high-quality, low-cost care for their patients. They provide a range of services from routine, preventative wellness checks to treatment for severe gastroenterology disorders.

Obesity is a known risk factor for several conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Recognizing that a significant amount of Mississippians report struggles with weight control, this practice decided they have an important role to play in helping their patients maintain their best health. Nurses now measure and record patients’ BMI, and the physician is alerted of any abnormalities. Patients are provided counseling at this visit and collaborate with their providers to determine appropriate follow up plans. Prior to these changes, only about 37% of patients were screened. Now, screenings are more consistent, and percentages are steadily climbing. More than 57% of patients are receiving screenings, an outcome that outpaces the national benchmark goal of 45%.  

By incorporating simple screenings and individual counseling in the clinic workflows, Gastroenterology Associates is helping patients better understand their health and determine their best course of care. By more consistently offering this service, the practice demonstrates their commitment to providing comprehensive care that attends to important, but often overlooked, factors in such specialty settings.           

For more information about Gastroenterology Associates, you can read their full story here. We commend this practice for setting a high bar for practice transformation.   

The views expressed in this story are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Gastroenterology Associates. Additionally, this work was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, under grant number 1CMS331549-03-00. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.